Cammie McGovern’s journey to find a path for her son, who has both intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is eerily similar to my journey. I, too, had to spend an entire year learning the ropes, after my son finished high school. In fact, I visited several programs that she mentioned in her book, Hard Landings: Looking Into the Future for a Child With Autism. She highlights one program that teaches computer graphics to people on the spectrum; Ian is learning to make film credits in their Wednesday evening online class.
You might smile and say “small world.” But it isn’t really. As McGovern points out there are 7 million people with developmental disabilities in this country. Our world only becomes small, when you’re trying to find good places for your adult child with differences. There just aren’t many good places out there.
In the past, institutions were the destination for adults with disabilities, and by the 1970s, their horrible conditions were the subject of high profile exposés. Last year, I interviewed a social worker who worked at one of the most notorious institutions: